If someone had said to me this time last year that I would spend my baby's first Christmas living with my aunt, cousins and grandmother, I wouldn't have believed them. Sure how would that even come about? I'll tell you how - disastrous rental market, that's how. I've said it before but we were so lucky to have been "taken in" while we tried to find a new house to rent when we left our previous house. I'm going to refer to it as a house, not a home, because in the end it felt very very much like four walls and all business. I think that happens when you know you are going to leave a place. You learn to detach yourself and focus on the next step. This time, we wanted to find a home. A house to make our own. A place for Billy to learn to crawl, walk, talk and be cheeky.
We lived at my aunt's house for five weeks and we had some seriously happy times there. Billy and my cousin Casey (2) are like brother and sister. They adore each other. My grandmother is a total character too and is always ready for a chat about absolutely anything. She is more informed about the economy, government and the latest bargains than I could ever pretend to be. She loved living with "the little fella" or "the rossy" as she would call him most days. In the end we were all sobbing as we left. Bitter sweet. We were delighted to have found a house, but it was surreal to be leaving the house we had called home for Billy's first Christmas. Fantastic memories were made, bonds were reinforced, and we felt very lucky to have been afforded the time to find the right place.
The chalkboard in our kitchen. Isn't it cute? I've been using it to write reminders. I constantly walk past it and it's actually doing a great job in reminding me to do things. Call UPC to reconnect, call Electric Ireland to set up an account with them for the bills, organise contract with a bin collection company, that type of thing. I'm on it!
OK, now hear me out. There is that weird first week when you move in to a house. You've no TV signal yet (we didn't for 5 days. Seriously, what did people do before the internet? Talk?), your baby's toys and comforts are in boxes all over the place, and your partner is at work. In the midst of this you are hungry and need to make the dinner. So here was my make-shift babysitter. It worked for all of 10 minutes, which is all I needed to make the food. You become very resourceful when you have a child. High chair, rice cake, and cartoons on a DVD in the laptop. This right here is parenting at it's finest. NOT. But it was literally 10 minutes. It took longer to pick up the pieces of his rice cake from the floor.
As soon as I could I got out and about to suss out the area we are living in. It's really lovely. We're living in an estate and it's got some lovely walks. I don't drive so I'll walk anywhere. This was a freezing cold day but Billy loved our little exploration. We sussed out the bus stops, the local shops, the nice walks and the big hill that looked way worse to walk up than it actually was. It was lovely. Doesn't Billy look cosy? I say it all the time, but I cannot recommend his pram enough. It's such a bargain at €319 from Mothercare. And what he's wrapped up in is this Lodger Bunker. Another amazing product that is unbelievably practical when you live in Ireland and it can be very chilly.
It's been a busy chaotic week and a lot of our belongings are still in boxes. But you know what? I honestly don't care. I'm home. I'm washing clothes, I'm cooking dinners, I'm putting Billy down for naps, I'm going for walks and I'm sleeping like a baby (well, when the actual baby sleeps, lol). And most importantly Billy is happy. He's loving the toys that Santa brought him.
And speaking of the baby. The beautiful baby. He's 7 months old, bursting out of 6-9 months clothes, an absolute vulture for food, dying to get moving, and the sight of him in his fluffy blue PJ's about to go to bed makes me swoon with happiness and pride.
Universe, if you could align yourself in such a way that we don't have to move again for a few years, that would be great. Oh, and thank you. I think we'll love it here.